Why do pet’s lick their wounds?
Wound is the deterioration of the integrity of the tissue in the skin or in another organ. Wound healing is a complicated response given to the elimination of tissue damage by having regional vascularization and blood circulation reformed against the deterioration of the integrity of tissue forming elsewhere in the organism. This process ends by regeneration (reconstruction of the original structure of the tissue) or the scar (repair of the tissue with a matrix different from the original).
The organism provides various responses to the shape, size, formation and localization of the wound and the recovery period varies accordingly. However, the response given essentially,
- Cleaning the infarcts in the area with tissue damage,
- Taking precautions against the agents that may cause infection in the area and struggling with them,
- In order to reconstruct the tissue destruction occurring at the wounded area, providing cell generation and regional vascularization,
- Providing one of the wounded sides to approach each other and providing reduction in the wounded surface by providing the reestablishment of the elasticity of the wounded area,
Organism manages this process by following different methods. First, the tissue damage occurring in the damaged area should be eliminated. Precautions should be taken against the potential infectious agents in the area. For this, it quickly forwards the white blood cells, especially macrophages, to the wounded area. Then, the reconstruction of the area should be provided. In order to perform a stronger fight against infectious agents, it is also necessary to dilate the capillaries around the wound and to increase the blood flow here.
This will be provided by Histamine, a type of protein. Histamine plays an important role in the immune response of the body. While it responds to the foreign pathogens entering the body, basophils (a type of white blood cells) and mast cells produce histamine. The presence of Histamine in the wounded area makes the capillaries more permeable against the white blood cells and thus it helps to fight with infections.
However, Histamine is the reason of redness, regional temperature increase, swelling and itching that are the inflammation symptoms. Depending on the dense Histamine in the wounded area; the wound is strongly itchy during the recovery period. The formation of collagen, which has just begun in the wound in this period, is very poor.
The patient gets involved in recovery process due to itching and this situation prolongs the period of healing by damaging newly formed tissue. Frequently, it causes the formation of an undesired scar tissue or infection of the wound in the wounded area by preventing unproblematic recovery.
In fact, saliva has an antiseptic effect. It prevents the wound from becoming infected in wound recovery. This is why among the pet owners; there is a belief that patients recover their wounds by licking and licking contributes to the wound recovery. However, depending on the itching in the wound recovery period; it is not desired for the patient to lick and bite the wound, scratch it insistently and violently by the paws and rubbing it on the objects. This causes the destruction of the collagen structure forming in the wounded area and also causes the wound to refresh again and again. This also inhibits unproblematic recovery. Mostly, it also results in the closure of the area with the scar tissue together with infection.
The good management of this period by the veterinary physician will ensure an unproblematic and quick wound recovery. Thus, in the patients with no other health problems (diabetes, etc.), sutures made after the operations should be removed on the 4th-12th days according to the localization of the wounded area. However, the recovery period in frequently scratched, interfered, and infected wounds will be much longer and distressing. Possible problems that may occur in the postoperative period will shade the operation and the success of the veterinary physician.
Therefore, the postoperative period should be managed well and the involvement of the patient in wound recovery should be prevented. For this purpose, the WinPet Medvest is a true and reliable equipment that provides a much more comfortable and safe recovery instead of old-style methods (Elizabethan collar, buoy, bitter spray etc.).